Employee Engagement – why is it important?Steve Dudley
Simply put employee engagement can make or break a Customer Experience (CX) programme and is therefore vital in delivering a successful CX programme.
Customer service expert and author, Shep Hyken, explains ‘The internal Customer Experience determines the external Customer Experience’. He is backed up by the 2016 Employee Engagement Benchmark Study that shows there is a correlation between employee engagement and success in customer experience. Companies that excelled at customer experience had one-and-a-half times as many engaged employees as customer experience laggards did (Temkin Group).
Another study by Gallup showed that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged, however those organisations with highly engaged workforces outperformed their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
Therefore, organisations need to focus on employee engagement and create an employee experience that replicates their best customer experience.
What is employee engagement?
It is a key element of employee experience that is central to delivering an outstanding customer experience. And employee experience is the sum total of interactions an employee has while employed by an organisation which affects their cognition, attitudes and way they behave.
Author, Jacob Morgan, lists three elements that contribute to the overall employee experience:
• Cultural: The feeling employees get working
• Physical: The actual space in which they work
• Technological: The tools employees use at work
Employee experience is now recognised as important to an organisation’s success with 83% of HR leaders saying “employee experience” is either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their organisation’s success, with 56% investing more in training, and 51% improving their workspaces, and 47% giving more rewards. (The Active Job Seeker Dilemma study by the Future Workplace and Beyond.com)
How to create an engaging employee experience?
Being employee-centred is about having a right mindset which needs to start at the top with the Executive Team and Board fully embracing the concept. It is also useful to look at the principles of Customer Experience that marketing and operations teams probably already use.
For example, a useful starting point is employee journey mapping. This outlines the steps employees go through in their employment lifecycle with the company. For each stage list the desired outcomes for both the employee and company are identified before assessing the gaps between the current experience and the desired one which would address employees’ needs while cultivating the desired culture that aligns with the business requirements.
Outline Employee Journey Map
1. Sourcing and selection
2. Onboarding (orientation and training)
3. Salary and benefits
4. Development and training – ongoing
5. Ad hoc engagement, communication, and company involvement
6. Rewards and recognition
7. Performance reviews and feedback
8. Career progression
9. Retirement, resignation or termination
Keeping employees engaged
Sustaining employee engagement can be challenging. It is important to ensure the engagement momentum is maintained and the opportunities are realised. We find taking a structured approach and with clear procedures can help to ensure the learnings and behaviours are embedded into the organisation’s culture so that employees remain engaged with a more customer centric approach that delivers a better Customer Experience.
We suggest organisations focus on employee engagement by creating an employee experience that mirrors their best customer experience. They can do this by creating an employee experience which takes into account the cultural and physical environment their employees work in, as well as the tools / technologies that allow them to achieve their best at work. If you would like to know more about how to create engaged employees contact the employee engagement expert, Steve Dudley.